If you are visiting Salzburg, Austria, with kids older than 4 years of age, Haus der Natur (“Hause of Nature” in Salzburg) is a must see. It’s hard to believe that there is so mush to see and do in one place. Haus der Natur in Salzburg is not only a home to one of the best aquariums in Central Europe, but also a reptile zoo and a dinosaur hall. Other amazing exhibitions include a space expo, the world of crystals, a journey around the human body, and a tour of the ocean, exhibit on geology and ice age, and a world of insects.
My favorite was the reptile zoo, a home to over 50 terrariums with around 200 live reptiles. Their even have two Mississippi alligators! As well as housing domestic species of snake, this theme section also features some of the world’s best-known poisonous snakes, tortoises and turtles, lizards and giant frogs.
The day we were there the museum had a space day. Our five-year old daughter’s favorite was an experiment where kids could steer a model of a moon robot and see if they can pick up a Milky Way bar with it. If they succeeded, they could keep the chocolate. And who doesn’t love the chocolate!
The main museum is compact but spread out on the five floors. However, a relatively new science center deserves a special mention. Spread out over 3 floors a separate building connected with the main museum, the center is where science comes alive for the kids and adults. The visitors are invited to conduct over 80 scientific experiments in a playful way, while learning and having fun. On the first floor of the science center there was a station devoted to energy and lifting, where kids can conduct experiments with hydrostatic pressure. Water flowing from this tank is used to power various turbines, which are designed for sustained production of electricity under different conditions. Different generators and a transformer show kids how to get electricity from water power.
On the second floor there is a large variety of experiments covering physics, mathematics and technology, and also a fair portion dedicated to the human body. You can try a ski simulator and getting through an obstacle course in a wheel chair.
There are so many amazing things at the Haus der Natur, that it is hard to describe. Make sure if you are in Salzburg, you stop by and see for yourself! And please allow at least half a day to enjoy the museum.